Newly unearthed footage shows controversial MAGA activist Ginni Thomas denouncing a “cult” that she escaped from in the 1980s.
Ms Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, says she wants to “expose Lifespring”, a long-defunct self-help group, in a video posted to Twitter by cult expert Steven Hassan.
Former members of Lifespring say the for-profit self-awareness organization employed “deceptive and indirect techniques of persuasion and control.”
Ms Thomas has previously spoken about how Lifespring leaders separated her from her family and friends, and being forced into hiding as she sought to leave the group in the mid-1980s.
“As is the case with so many former members, she was overly susceptible and went from one cult to another (The Cult of Trump),” Mr Hassan, who founded the Freedom of Mind Resource Center to help cult victims and survivors, tweeted on Thursday.
I knew Ginni Thomas. Ginni Thomas was in a cult (the large group awareness training cult, Lifespring). Here she is in 1989 speaking at an event I hosted for former members. Until today, almost NO one has seen this video. pic.twitter.com/qMX4fKboxg
— Steven Hassan, PhD (@CultExpert) March 31, 2022
Last week, Ms Thomas was revealed to have tried to pressure former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to overturn the 2020 presidential elections in favor of Donald Trump.
Mr Hassan said the footage was taken at a meeting of cult survivors in 1986, and that “almost no one” had seen it prior to it being posted to social media Thursday.
“After she left Lifespring, she got heavily involved in the movement to help former cult members exit cults,” he tweeted, adding that Ms Thomas organized a “cult awareness briefing” for congressional staffers in the late 1980s.
Lifespring disbanded in the 1990s after claiming to have trained 400,000 members in the US.
In the footage, Ms Thomas discusses the need for cult survivors to “reconnect” with their spiritual needs.
“When you come away from a cult, you have to find a balance in your life as far as getting involved with fighting the cult or exposing it,” Ms Thomas says.
“And, kind of, the other angle is getting a sense of yourself, and what was it that made you get into that group and what open questions are there are that still need to be answered.
“And I think I’m really trying and struggling with the balance between that. I want to expose Lifespring, I want to keep other people from going through that experience,” she added.
“But I also don’t want to go overboard in that regard so that I can reconnect with my own needs in a spiritual way, which I still haven’t done.”
Ms Thomas married Clarence Thomas the year after the footage was taken in 1987.
Since Mr Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 1991, she has become a political lobbyist for far-right conservative causes that frequently overlap with cases brought before the nine justices.
to jointWashington Post and CBSNews investigation revealed last week that she sent 29 messages to Mr Meadows urging him to hold fast to Mr Trump’s baseless claims about a rigged election in late 2020.
The text messages, turned over to the House Committee investigating the 6 January Capitol riots, contained references to bizarre conspiracy theories and a biblical “good versus evil” battle against liberals.
Mr Thomas was the sole dissenting vote in the Supreme Court’s January decision that rejected Mr Trump’s bid to withhold documents from the January 6 panel.
He has since faced fierce calls to recuse himself from any Capitol riot cases.
The Independent has attempted to reach Ms Thomas for comment.